Taste of summer

What are your favorite flavors of summer? Fresh tomatoes and basil? Sweet peaches? Crunchy peas and peppers? One of mine is freshly picked blueberries. We have a wonderful family-owned farm right down the road from us, and every summer my kids and I pick pounds and pounds of big beautiful blueberries. And after we’ve had all the cake, muffins, and pancakes that we can, I make something delicious and refreshing for the adults. It’s a twist on a traditional French cocktail called a French 75, which is made with gin, lemon, sugar, and Champagne. The addition of blueberry syrup gives it a lovely purple color and deep berry flavor, and I highlight the faintly resinous flavor of the freshly picked berries with the addition of lavender and rosemary. Make some for the next time you’re sitting around the pool and keep the flavors of summer going!

Blueberry French 75 (makes 10 drinks)

½ cup sugar

4 sprigs fresh lavender

1 sprig fresh rosemary

¼ cup fresh blueberries

Juice of 3 lemons (about 2 oz)

3 oz gin (I prefer New Amsterdam)

2 oz St Germaine liqueur

1 bottle chilled sparkling wine (Prosecco or Cava)

 

For the blueberry syrup:

Bring ½ cup sugar and ½ water just to a boil with the lavender and rosemary. Add the blueberries and simmer for one minute. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Strain.

For the cocktail:

Shake blueberry syrup, lemon juice, gin, and St Germaine with ice. Strain and distribute evenly between 10 glasses, top with bubbly.